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Category: No Adults Allowed

Hunting pirate booty in Oregon

By Lauren Murphy

Of the Keizertimes

When it comes to finding  treasure, there is one simple rule to follow: X marks the spot.

It was rumored that pirates buried their treasure because of the book, Treasure Island, written by Robert Louis Stevenson. The story is an exciting dash to find hidden treasure. 

The book follows the story of a young man named Jim Hawkins who finds a map to treasure. He and his friends set out to find it. After some mishaps with a rebellious crew and a man who was stranded on the island Jim makes it home and swears off all treasure hunting.

The book inspired many legends about pirates, including but not limited to hiding treasure on deserted islands. There are several instances of pirates storing treasure away and waiting until it was safe to come back for. One of those instances happened right here in Oregon. Legend has it that there is up to 500 pounds of gold on Neahkahnie Mountain on the Oregon coast.

In the 1600s a mysterious ship came to the northern coast of Oregon. Some believe that it was shipwrecked. The Native Americans who were living here at the time claimed that a group of men climbed into a smaller boat with a treasure chest. The men carried it up the mountain onto the side.

When they got to a place they could find again they started digging. Once the hole was big enough, they are said to have lowered the chest and a dead body into the secret hiding spot.  They believed the soul of the dead person would guard the treasure until the owner could come back for it.

Then the men returned to the small boat and set off for what is now known as California.

The Native American’s passed down the story with the strange men, from generation to generation. When British American settlers came they told them the story, too.

There is still great debate about whether or not the treasure is still out there and whether it was ever there in the first place. 

(McNary High School’s drama department is planning a production of Stevenson’s Treasure Island in spring 2019.)